Decreasing sedentary behaviors in treating pediatric obesity.
ABSTRACT Epidemiological studies have shown television watching to be a risk factor for the development of obesity in children. The effect of reducing television watching and other sedentary behaviors as a component of a comprehensive obesity treatment program has not been thoroughly tested.
To compare the influence of targeting decreases in sedentary behavior vs. increases in physical activity in the comprehensive treatment of obesity in 8- to 12-year-old children.
Randomized, controlled outcome study.
Childhood obesity research clinic.
Ninety families with obese 8- to 12-year-old children were randomly assigned to groups that were provided a comprehensive family-based behavioral weight control program that included dietary, and behavior change information but differed in whether sedentary or physically active behaviors were targeted and the degree of behavior change required.
Results during 2 years showed that targeting either decreased sedentary behaviors or increased physical activity was associated with significant decreases in percent overweight and body fat and improved aerobic fitness. Self-reported activity minutes increased and targeted sedentary time decreased during treatment. Children substituted nontargeted sedentary behaviors for some of their targeted sedentary behaviors.
These results support reducing sedentary behaviors as an adjunct in the treatment of pediatric obesity.
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ABSTRACT: Mainstream public health theories of obesity attribute current, unprecedented numbers of obese youth to changes in eating practices and levels of physical activity, in turn leading to greater energy consumption and lesser energy expenditure. While substantial research has examined energy consumption among school-age children, key modes of energy expenditure such as active school transport (AST) remain underexplored. Using AST data obtained from the California Safe Routes to Schools program and child health data from the California Physical Fitness Test, we examined the association between AST and child obesity among school-age children and disambiguated this relationship introducing the variable poverty. We found that greater AST correlated with higher rates of child obesity and higher rates of child poverty, which in turn correlated with worse child health and obesity rates. Our findings suggest that child poverty explains the positive relationship between AST and child obesity that has puzzled investigators. Our analysis also reveals recurring blind spots in the public health literature, which often acknowledges that poverty begets poor health yet calls for environmental changes while rarely calling for eliminating poverty, one critical social determinant of health, even as these determinants have become legitimate objects of scientific inquiry. We propose that while environmental changes may improve the health of the poor, the only effective way to improve child health and reduce child obesity is to eliminate or dramatically reduce child poverty, a sociopolitical issue. This study is part of a larger project evaluating socio-political determinants of child health.Critical Public Health 07/2014; DOI:10.1080/09581596.2014.920078 · 0.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The task of green space allocation in urban areas consists of identifying a suitable site for allocating green areas. In this proposition paper we discuss about a number of factors like crowdedness, design, distribution and size that could discourage inhabitants to visit a certain green urban area. We plan to cluster our urban residents into several population segments using an Agent-Based Model and study the system in different predefined scenarios. The overall objective of this work is to provide spatial guidance to planners, policy- makers and other stakeholders, and shed light on potential policy conflicts among standard policy criteria and user preferences. We will evaluate this potential within a targeted stakeholder workshop.5th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, ICAART, 257-262; 01/2015
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ABSTRACT: A variety of methods have been used to measure physical activity in children. The reliability and validity of an assessment instrument are commonly considered its most important attributes. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate reliability and validity of the Greek version of the 3 day Physical Activity Record (3dPAR-G) a self-report instrument in a sample of Greek primary school students. Participants were 61 children, 10 -11 years old. All children wore an accelerometer in a belt around their waist for seven consecutive days and completed the 3dPAR-G. The study was designed to compare the criterion measure the MTI/Actigraph, against the 3dPAR-G. Test-retest reliability of this instrument was tested by repeating its administration one week later. A significant correlation was observed between the accelerometer data as a measure of validity, and the data from the 3-day average physical activity score (r=0.44, p<0.01). The interclass reliability coefficient for the 3-day diary was 0.61 (p<0.01). In addition, significant Alpha reliability coefficient was observed for the 3day average physical activity score (ICC =0.74). In conclusion, the 3dPAR-G provides valid and reliable estimates of physical activity in 10-11 years old children in Greece.